PDIP candidate in Jambi a suspect of ballot box burning

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A PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) legislative candidate are suspected of being perpetrators in the ballot paper and ballot box burning in Sungai Penuh, Kerinci, Jambi on Thursday (18/4/2019). (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Three people have been held as suspects in the ballot paper and ballot box burning in Sungai Penuh, Kerinci, Jambi on Thursday (18/4/2019). Two of the three have been arrested as suspects; one of them is a PDI-P (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) legislative candidate.

The three suspects were taken into custody by a Jambi Regional Police and Kerinci Departmental Police task force who then carried out examinations in the Kerinci Departmental Police Headquarters. Jambi General Criminal Investigation Director Police Chief Commissioner M. Edi Faryadi, on Sunday (21/4), stated that the arrests started earlier that day at 08.00 WIB. The joint team helped by the Jambi Mobile Brigade Corps consisted of 15 personnel and was led by the Jambi General Criminal Investigation Director. “The task force arrested three people suspected in the act of arson,” said Edi on Monday (22/4).

Out of the three interrogated, police officially placed two as suspects. The first was Robin Janet (31), a District Supervisory Committee (Panwascam) member for Tanah Kampung, Tanjung Karang, Sungai Penuh, who was arrested at the scene of the crime.

The second was Khairul Saleh (53), a PDIP legislative candidate and Koto Padang, Tanah Kampung resident. He was arrested in Hamparan Pugu Village, Air Hangat while hiding in the home of a local.

The last suspect, Azwarlis (55), a government employee in Pendung Hiang Village, Tanah Kampung, Sungai Penuh surrendered himself to the Kerinci Police accompanied by his family. He has been named a witness.

As a result of the ballot box burning, the Jambi Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Body) wrote to the Sungai Penuh Bawaslu requesting a re-election. The Bawaslu also regretted that one of the suspects was a Panwascam member chosen by the Jambi Bawaslu.

“That case we are leaving up to the police as this is already in the criminal field. Relating to the suspect arrested by the police, we trust the police as there must have been a reason for the arrest of the suspects one of whom was a Panwascam member,” said Jambi Bawaslu Head Asnawi.

Asnawi stated that every person involved in the arson must be brave enough to hold themselves accountable for their actions.

The Jambi PDIP Regional Representative Council (DPD) Leadership claims they will penalize any legislative candidate from their party if proven to disrupt the democratic process. However, so far, the Jambi PDIP DPD have claimed they have not yet received a report suggesting one of their legislative candidates has been arrested in relation to the ballot box burning in Sungai Penuh. “Frankly, we, the Jambi DPD Leadership have not yet received any report from the Sungai Penuh Branch Leadership,” said Jambi PDIP DPD Secretary Akmaluddin on Sunday (21/4)

Akmaluddin said his party would immediately seek out the truth regarding the manner and would order the Branch Leadership to promptly clarify the news with the police. “We are still waiting for information as to whether this is true or not, and we also ask the branch leadership to confirm directly with the police,” explained Akmaluddin.

If the information turns out to be accurate, said Akmaluddin, his party would immediately take firm action. “The party will not tolerate any actions which disrupt the spirit of democracy. If true, we will  sanction in the form of termination,” he asserted. (Ekawati)